Carlos Grosso of Coquitlam, B.C., is overflowing with pride that his daughter Julia is about to play the biggest game of her life.
“We’re very, very proud, very excited,” he said.
Grosso is a midfielder on Canada’s women’s soccer team, which shook up the football world Monday, defeating the United States 1-0 to advance to the finals of the women’s soccer tournament at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Carlos thinks the team has what it takes to bring home gold.
“I think that they’re there now. I think, to me personally, they’re going to win because they believe.”
Carlos and his wife have stayed up late every night to watch Canada’s games live. The family is relieved the final game against Sweden will be broadcast at 7:30 p.m. local time instead of 3 a.m.
The family has watched each step of Julia’s footballing journey, starting with youth soccer to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite to her current club, the University of Texas Longhorns.
Carlos says Team Canada team captain and Burnaby native Christine Sinclair has helped 20-year-old Julia on her journey.
“They’ve got a pretty good bond,” Carlos said. “She has a special place for her because Christine’s always treated her really good ever since she got there when, I think, she was 17 years old.”
Carlos said Julia’s dream of representing her country was sparked by the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which held several matches in Vancouver, including the final.
“When the World Cup was here, we went to the games and she envisioned and she wanted to be in the World Cup,” Carlos said.
Within six years, she went from a fan in the stands to centre stage. Carlos, for one, can’t wait for Thursday night.
“Just go, Canada, bring it home,” Carlos said. “The gold medal.”